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“Jane the Virgin” returned in top form Wednesday night for the premiere of its final season and resolved two cliffhangers: Who JR (Rosario Dawson) shot and the apparent return of Jane’s husband Michael (Brett Dier) from the dead after four years. Both of these sensationalized stories stay true to the show’s telenovela roots, but the latter is this season’s pièce de résistance, through which the show explores how Jane (Gina Rodriguez) has grown and the ways that one forms a sense of self.
It turns out that this man is indeed Michael, but through an elaborate scheme, someone faked his death and gave him amnesia with electroshock therapy. He now calls himself Jason — after Jason Bourne — and has built a life for himself in Montana. Jason isn’t anything like Michael; he lacks humor, speaks in a slow drawl, and — most distressingly — is no longer a cat person (sorry, Faith N. Whiskers III). He has no memory of Jane or any of the Villanueva clan, and even his palate and preferences have changed.
Viewers - Man - Michael - Wife - Stranger
As viewers, it’s disturbing to watch this man who looks like Michael treat his own wife like a stranger, and for Jane, it’s even harder to experience this firsthand. Michael’s personality reset makes her question her concept of what forms identity — not only for him, but herself as well. In an extended, seven-minute, one-take scene that screams “Emmy submission,” Rodriguez delivers a speech that reveals Jane’s inner turmoil. And while the show is known for its signature twists, colorful narration, and imaginative use of graphics, Jane’s monologue encapsulates why the show’s merits run deeper than those surface quirks.
Andrea Navedo and Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
Series - Master - Tone - Aspects - Heartfelt
The series has always been a master of tone: balancing the lighthearted, campier aspects with an unwavering heartfelt core. The monologue...
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